Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Food Things & Life Things Too

On Monday evening once we were home from camping and unpacked, we BBQd dinner.  We had deer sausage, and potatoes cooked in duck fat (thanks to my brother & Jessie for both the sausage and the duck fat).

On the side, we served up Greek salad.

Breakfasts so far this week have included an omelette with mushrooms, arugula, and Asiago, and French toast with a banana and PB on the side.

For dinner last night we BBQd some pork chops, and enjoyed those with mushroom risotto and an Asian cucumber salad.

This meal was so good, and luckily there are leftovers for lunch today.

For dessert we had a banana, caramel cream pie that I had made earlier in the day.


You can find the recipe here.

I read an article today that had me saying "YES!!" throughout.  It resonated with me a lot, and just seemed to hit the nail on the head.  Over the past four years Christopher and I have actively worked at making our lives easier in a number of ways.  Making decisions and having thought processes that add calmness and balance to our lives has been a priority.  This article is spot on!  It points out many ways of thinking/actions that reduce happiness, instead of leading to it.  I put the main points from the article in bold, and my thoughts in italics (I don't know any more than the next person, but these are just my musings on the topics).  Check out the entire article here.

10 Ways You're Making Your Life Harder than it has to be:

1)  You ascribe intent - "[assigning] bad intent to the otherwise innocuous actions of others; [taking others' actions] as a personal affront, a slap in the face."

I think as a general rule, people, especially those you care about, do not ever intend to hurt your feelings, or to upset or offend you.  Your friend with a new baby didn't reply to your text?  He was probably just about to, but then chaos ensued, and he completely forgot once the storm settled.  Your friend didn't invite you to her wedding?  Maybe she's on a tight budget, and had to keep the guest list short, but loves you all the same.  Maybe she wanted a small wedding.  Whatever it is, chances are it's not about you.  Your neighbor asks you to keep a closer eye on your dog who keeps making a mess of her yard?  Maybe she really likes you as a neighbor, and had to work up the courage to confront you, but really is just concerned about her yard that she put a lot of time, effort and money in to.  I think it's so important for all of us to remind ourselves that the actions of others usually have nothing to do with us, and are not typically meant out of spite or with hurtful motives.

2)  You're the star of your own movie - "Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else.  As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play."

Perhaps the role we envision for others in our lives isn't the role they have scripted for themselves in their own movie script.  We all have ideas about how we want our lives to unfold, but it isn't fair or conducive to our happiness to determine others' roles for them.

3)  You fast forward to apocalypse - "My mind unnecessarily wrestles with events that aren't even remotely likely."

I'll be the first to tell you that I struggle with this (right Christopher?).  I am generally an optimistic person with day to day life, and almost always look on the bright side of things when it comes to catastrophes (small or big) that have already happened.  "Already" being the operative word.  I don't tend to cry over spilled milk.  But, we'll just say I've panicked more than once over things I've read on WebMD, and might see a few spiders in the house over the course of a week and begin to think we have a severe infestation of spiders - you know, those sorts of things that are oh-so-fun to get all riled up about.  

4)  You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations - "Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims ... Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life.  Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy."

I've never really been high maintenance when it comes to expecting things from my friends/family. To clarify, it's not that I don't think they would meet my expectations, but rather I have always been pretty self-reliant, and I also don't like to put pressure on others in any way.  In fact, it stresses me out to think that people might feel a sense of obligation to me.  For instance, if I invite you to my 40th birthday party (mannnnnny years from now) ;-), and you're tired, or just don't feel like coming, I will not be the slightest bit offended.  I don't care about stuff like that.  If I'm building a fence, or moving, I don't expect anyone to come and help, and probably wouldn't even ask, because of the aforementioned pressure thing.  I have never been good at accepting help, but sometimes I'm sure I need to do more of that.  The things that I do expect from people in my life are kindness, respect, and honesty.  Those are musts.

Of course, expectations are different when you're living with people or at work, etc..  Obviously everyone expects things of their spouses, kids, basically all immediate family in the same home.  But, if you're going to expect anything from anyone outside your immediate family, I think these expectations should be communicated clearly, and also agreed upon, or else there is a good chance of someone being disappointed.

5)  You are waiting for a sign - "... it is better to help shape fate than be governed by it."

We could sit around waiting for signs, or we could go out and make things happen.  You're not going to become rich or happy, or successful with wishes and hopes.  Get 'em girl! (or guy - guys too!)

6)  You don't take risks - "Live boldly."

I'll take some risks I suppose, but not when it comes to finances/work.  Both Christopher and I would rather have stability and security, than take risks that may or may not pay off in the long run.  It might be holding us back from opportunities, but we have jobs that we enjoy that allow us to live the lives that we want, while planning for our retirement, and to us, that's important.  For now, the food truck can wait, and we're totally okay with that; it's not a dream, and it's not a priority, but rather something fun to think about for our "someday".

7)  You constantly compare your life to others - "Stop it."

Or, compare all you want, but if you're not happy with the life you're living, and want something else, change it.  If you like the lifestyle someone else is living, do what it takes to make that happen.  We all make choices, and all our choices are give and take; you can't have everything.

8)  You let other people steal from you - "Treat your time like Fort Knox.  Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it."

I think most of us find this easier to do with age.  The more we see it running out, the more valuable it becomes.  Spending time with our parents has become increasingly important to us as we've gotten older (yes teenage selves, it has happened). 

9)  You can't/won't let go -  "Life is full of loss.  But, in a sense, real happiness wouldn't be possible without it.  It helps us appreciate and savor the things that really matter.  It helps us grow."

We can't undo or change the past.  What's done is done.  We also can't bring anyone back, unfortunately.  Dwelling on the past or beating ourselves up for things from our past only ruins the time we have in the present.  

If you had a wonderful past, that's great, but try not to idealize the past so much that you're neglecting the now.  On the other hand, if you look back and you're unhappy with your past, do things in the present that you'll look back on with fonder eyes in the future.

10)  You don't give back - "When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world.  There are givers and there are takers.  Givers are happy.  Takers are miserable."

Think about the relationships/ friendships in your life.  Are you the one who is always doing the giving?  Are you the one who is always doing the taking?  Is there balance in the give/take relationship with this person?  Unbalanced give/take relationships will leave the giver frustrated, drained, and unappreciated, rather than experiencing enjoyment from the relationship. 

If you read the article, or even just these main points, does it stir up any thoughts for you at all?  What is one way you could make your life easier?  Are you like me, and think sometimes that you might have a horrible, rare disease, or that 100,000 bees are building a thriving community in the walls of your home?  Haha!  
How's your week going so far? 


Anonymous said...

Wonderful article, much food for thought. Thank you.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

There's a lot of food for thought in the points you shared. The stealing time thing is one that resonates for me because I am not great at saying no to things and sometimes i say yes to things out of a feeling of obligation or because I feel like I've said no to them too many times. But then I end up over planning and then I don't really look forward to things because I've planned too much!